Sale of Vogt?s HomeTown Market will be official Feb. 3

The parking area in front of Vogt?s HomeTown Market was all but deserted Monday afternoon. The Vogt family, which has been in the grocery business for 89 years, is selling the store to Heartland Foods based in Herington. The sale will be official Feb. 3.After several months of public speculation about the future of Vogts HomeTown Market in Hillsboro, the sale of the store to Heartland Foods in Herington will become official Feb. 3.

Paul Barnes, one of three partners who comprise the Heartland Foods corporation, said late last week the new owners are anticipating the transition.

?We?re confident we can make a good go of it in (Hillsboro), and we?re looking forward to it,? he said.

The acquisition of the Hillsboro store will give Heartland Foods seven stores in Kansas, plus one in Nebraska.

Barnes, who has lived in Herington for 14 years, said he has been aware of the Vogts? store for some time.

?Vogts? store has always been of interest to us because it?s located close to us,? he said. ?Geographically, if we can keep stores close to us, it?s easier for us to handle them. So that was always kind of an interesting prospect.?

Barnes said they approached the Vogts about a year ago, but the timing wasn?t right.

?We said, ?If you?re ever interested, let us know,?? Barnes said. ?They called us probably three months ago, and said they were ready to sell. We?ve been working out the details, and we?ve got all that taken care of now.?

Todd Vogt, the fourth generation to operate the store, said he and his family had known the buyers for many years.

?When we were IGA way back when my dad was here, they were all store owners then,? he said. ?We knew them for a long time.

?We?ve done a lot of things with them over the years. My dad had meetings with them and stuff like. It?s not like they were strangers. That helped a lot.?

The store will continue to have a Vogt management connection once the sale is final. Todd Vogt has been hired as the store manager.

?(Todd is) knowledgeable about the store and community,? Barnes said. ?He?s a family man and a member of the local community.?

The store will be closed for two weeks once the sale is final. Plans are to reopen it Feb. 17.

Barnes said Heartland Foods will be sponsoring a special event to mark the opening once they ?get their feet on the ground.?

The Barnes group is currently remodeling the store they own in Scott City, and a another Heartland group with which they advertise is opening a new store in Lyons.

?We?ll do a grand opening for all three of those at the same time,? Barnes said.

He added that local shoppers won?t have to change their shopping habits much.

?It?s not going to be a whole lot different,? Barnes said of the business. ?We?re just going to get it back in business as it was at one point, and try to get the deli to be strong for us. That?s one area we hope we can do well in. I think they always have done pretty good in that area.

?We?re going to shore it back up and hopefully just offer a good place to shop for people locally so they?ll stay in town.?

Vogt said the family had considered several possible buyers as it became clear that a transition was necessary.

?This was our best option,? he said of the buying group. ?We were thinking about the community too, partly. We weren?t going to sell it to just anybody.?

Although the past few months have been challenging, Vogt said the family knew, ?It was time to be done.?

He added, ?We want to thank the community for 89 years of service. Our family has been in the grocery business for many years in this town?four generations. I guess it was the right timing.

?All things have to come to end at some time.?

Written By
More from Don Ratzlaff
Trojans come up short against Vikings, 36-16
Dominant line play by Smoky Valley during the first half put Hillsboro...
Read More